The Democratic Unionist Party is doubling down in its demands that Ireland isn’t betrayed in a Brexit deal.
DUP leader Arlene Foster has reiterated her red lines on Brexit with Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab today, and discussed in detail her party’s concerns with the details of the proposal as it stands.
Speaking to the press following the meeting, Foster said:
“Goodness, we have been here on a number of occasions and I hope we are close to a deal that will work for Northern Ireland. That is what we want.”
Foster also explained that she and her party had told Raab that, from constitutional and economic standpoints, it’s essential for Northern Ireland to not have any customs barriers or regulatory barriers.
That of course means Northern Ireland needs the same deal with the EU as the rest of the UK. The problem there, however, is that the backstop solution that keeps the entirety of the UK in the EU would be a betrayal of Brexit.
Foster wants no checks on the Irish sea and wants to maintain a close relationship with the rest of the UK – and the government says it agrees. The problem? Regulatory barriers seem like they’re inevitable at this point. European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union, Michel Barnier, has already said that regulatory checks would be necessary, and the EU isn’t backing down on that. Even the UK government has previously agreed with Brussels on this, with Theresa May accepting regulatory checks between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
In early October, Foster said that Mrs. May couldn’t “in good conscience” recommend any deal on Brexit that put a trade barrier on businesses moving goods from one part of the UK to another – so how the government intends to please the DUP, I don’t know. I’m just glad we can say that we have Arlene Foster on our side. She reminds me a lot of my grandmother. My dear old nan once took down a company that was trading illegally, and made a pig’s ear of a conservatory she paid them thousands for. She didn’t stop until she got her money back and took the company down completely, God bless her. Foster’s the same. She’s a dog with a bone who won’t give up until Ireland gets the deal they deserve, and which doesn’t separate their country from the rest of the UK. She’s a true unionist who won’t back down, and I can’t help but respect her for it.